Update From President, Jason S. Wood, Ph.D. – October 16, 2021

Hi All,

Sometimes I really appreciate the simplicity and innocence of childhood.  Today I watched with great pride as one of my daughters won first place in her gymnastics competition.  Another daughter was wounded when someone accidently opened a door on her toe and I marveled at her trust in me as I tended to the injury.

All of us have people in our lives who depend on our efforts.  Sometimes we simply need to be there and cheer for them.  At other times we are there to care for their needs.  Hopefully each of you has what you need to care for your family or loved ones.  If not, please check in with someone in Human Resources to see if there is something the college can do to help.  We’ll do our best to help.

While at work, please know we are at our collective best when we care for each other and when we care for our students.  Thank you for all you do to help our students achieve their goals.  I know your sincere efforts make a difference in the lives of our students.

  1. COVID
    1. Well, not much of an update this week.  We remain in a holding pattern as we watch the trends hopefully continue to subside.
    2. I will mention that we continue to trust our teams to work together to find the best way to complete projects.  Please remember to be flexible with schedules and work remote expectations.  As long as we remain accountable to project goals, we can and should adapt to meet the needs of as many people as we can.
  2. Board Retreat Summary
    1. The Board held a luncheon honoring the good work of Connie Haberkorn, CoraBeth Schmitz, Chris Bowers, Giulio Reyes, Kelly Kelly, Heath Ahnen, Dennis Cooley, Josh Bedward, Kris Schoville, Ryan Weigel, Paula Timmerman, and Joe Randall.  We have many amazing people at the college and the Board was truly touched by these individuals and their efforts to serve others at the college and in their communities.
    2. The College Effectiveness Team (Mandy Henkel, Lisa Riley, Sasha Annan, Camille Chappell, and Holly Straka) presented the most recent performance on the College Health Indicators.  What an amazing team, too!  Board members worked in small groups to discuss progress and goals.
    3. The evening session involved members of the Boards of the College, Foundation, and Real Estate Foundation.  We discussed The Demographic Drought (highly recommend this read), local data presented by Troy Maggied and Rhonda Suda (October 2021 Workforce Development and SW WI Regional Projections-10/12/2021), and the early results of our Listening Sessions with local businesses.  Jim Schweigert, President of Gro Alliance, outlined his expectations for entry level positions to be leaders from day one on the job.  Engaging small group discussions were very informative.  We will continue to adapt our efforts to best position the college for the future with an emphasis on preparing students for good jobs.
  3. Exec Team Growth and Development
    1. The exec team will meet to review a self-assessment of our team dynamics.  We appreciate the opportunity to learn, grow, and improve.  Please stay tuned for an overview of our goals.  I also anticipate we will determine to get feedback from around the college in order to establish goals for the new year.  Among our top priorities…caring for the faculty, staff, and students who make our college so awesome. 😊
  4. January’s College In-Service
    1. As we begin to plan January’s all-college in-service, please send me any thoughts or ideas on what you’d like to see, do, or hear.  If you are willing to make a presentation or lead an activity, please let me know.  We’ll do our best to make our time together informative and inspiring.
  5. Student Feedback
    1. Student Satisfaction Surveys are scheduled for October 15 through November 24 for both online and in-person students.  If you would be so kind, please encourage students to complete the survey.  The information helps guide our decisions and investments.
  6. Appreciation
    1. There are different ways to show appreciation in the workplace.  It would be helpful to me if you are willing to share any suggestions for me to be better at showing appreciation.  In fact, I would be grateful for the feedback!
  7. Kudos to…
    1. Karyl Nicholson and Paul Bell for just being their to talk to during Open House.  It was really good to stop in, say hi, and catch up…really good indeed.
    2. Angie Starkey, Darci Colsch, Dawn Adkins, Jenna Taylor, Justine Sparrgrove, Maria Kindrai, Pam Bartles, Tiffany Cote, and Vicky Rundle…all nurses.  They carry a heavy load during normal times and it is intensified exponentially during a pandemic.  I want each of them to know they are appreciated because they make a bigger difference for more people than they will ever know.
    3. Gary Roberts and Tom Kretschman for their work in public safety and law enforcement.  Our students in their programs are very fortunate to have two mentors like Tom and Gary.  They both care so much about their students and the profession.  I am grateful for Tom and Gary first and foremost because of their integrity in serving the public and teaching people to keep others safe.

We started our last exec team meeting singing out loud “Lean on Me”.  Yes, it was a little awkward, pretty off-key, and not in sync.  At the same time, it felt good to try.  After we sang together, we discussed the lyrics which I encourage you to read.  It was interesting to hear each other’s observations and impressions.  I do know I trust the individuals on the exec team to help me out when I need assistance.  I hope they can depend on me and each other as well.

If you need something to help your team smile, I recommend singing a song!  Remembering back to being a kid…singing time was almost as fun as snack time!

Please let me know if there is something I can do for you.

Take care,


Posted in COVID-19, Update